The owner of the International Polo Club Palm Beach, Mr. John Goodman, recently took the stand to testify in his own criminal trial on an OUI manslaughter charge in Florida. Goodman was operating his Bentley in 2010 when he collided with the 23 year old man Scott Wilson in his motor vehicle, causing Wilson’s death.
Goodman testified that he was not intoxicated at the time of operation, although he admitted to having drank multiple alcoholic beverages immediately before the collision. According to Goodman, he was at a party where he consumed alcohol, purchased alcohol for his friends, but was nonetheless sober when he got behind the wheel of his Bentley to purchase a frosty from a local Wendy’s restaurant. Rather, what caused him to lose control of the vehicle colliding with Wilson was faulty breaks in the Bentley.
Goodman was tested following the accident, and had a BAC level of twice the legal limit. Goodman explained that he actually became intoxicated after the accident, when he left the scene of the accident and drank heavily at a nearby location throughout that night. And in his second trial, he offered witness testimony corroborating this explanation. The bartender of the bar where Goodman was drinking before the accident may also be called to testify as to Goodman’s sobriety at the time of the accident.
This is the second time Goodman is being tried. Goodman also testified in his first trial, and was convicted by a jury and sentenced to sixteen years. However that trial was declared a mistrial because of juror misconduct.
In the testimony earlier this week, the Judge permitted the prosecutor to ask Goodman if he heard the testimony of other witnesses and said that he had an advantage in testifying because he was present for other testimony. The judge overruled an objection to this line of question. As a Massachusetts OUI Lawyer, the judge was clearly wrong to permit this testimony because Goodman is Constitution required to be present during the testimony. This Constitution requirement should not be used to attack Goodman’s credibility.